Scripture: "And for me."—EPH. vi. 19. "Praying also for us."—Coi.. iv. 3. "Finally, brethren, pray for us."—2 THESS. iii. 1.
These expressions of Paul suggest what the strength of his conviction must have been that the Christians had power with God, and that their prayer would in very deed bring new strength to him in his work. He had such a sense of the actual unity of the Body of Christ, of the interdependence of each member, even the most honourable, on the life that flowed through the whole body, that he seeks to rouse Christians, both for their own sakes and for his sake, and for the sake of the Kingdom of God, with his call: "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving, withal praying also for us."
The Church depends upon the ministry to an extent that we very little realise. The place of the minister is so high, as the steward of the mysteries of God, as the ambassador for God to beseech men in Christ's name to be reconciled to Him, that unfaithfulness or inefficiency must bring a terrible blight on the Church that he serves. If Paul, after having preached for twenty years in the power of God, still needed the prayer of the Church, how much more does the ministry in our day need it?
The minister needs the prayer of his people. He has a right to it. He is in very truth dependent on it. It is his task to train Christians for their work, of intercession on behalf of the Church and the world. He must begin with training them to pray for himself. He may have to begin still farther back and learn to pray more for himself and for them. Let all intercessors, who are seeking to enter more deeply into their blessed work, give a larger place to the ministry, whether of their own church or of other churches.
Let them plead with God for individual men, and for special circles. Let them continue in prayer and watch therein, that ministers may be men of power, men of prayer, and full of the Holy Ghost. O brethren, pray for the ministry!
Our Father which art in heaven, we humbly pray Thee to arouse believers to a sense of their calling to pray for the ministers of the Gospel in the spirit of faith. AMEN.